Top Watermelon Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/22/22 •  9 min read

What are watermelon benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are watermelon pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

watermelon benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on watermelon benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about watermelon benefits and side effects. This will include watermelon benefits for your health and potential risks, watermelon water footprint and watermelon carbon footprint, watermelon sustainability, if watermelon are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if watermelon are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about watermelon benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Watermelon Benefits And Side Effects


Watermelon health benefits may include:

Watermelon side effects may include:

Additionally, watermelon is…

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Water footprint: low, it takes 235 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of watermelon / 28 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of watermelon

Carbon footprint: low, 0.14 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fresh watermelon, a car driving equivalent of 0.5 miles or 0.75 kilometers

Destruction: low, watermelon production is relatively sustainable, there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. buy Non-GMO/organic

Watermelon is…


Kills: none, watermelon production does not require any animals

Harms: none, watermelon production does not require any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: none, watermelon production does not indirectly kill or harm animals as long as there are no toxic chemicals, buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Watermelon is…


Health and safety: agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may face dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: laborers often face exploitation and tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks

Wages: generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits


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Where does most watermelon come from?

Most US watermelon production occurs in Texas, Florida, Georgia and California, producing approximately 69% of all grown in the USA. However, out of all watermelons consumed by Americans only 24% grow domestically!
The world’s top watermelon exporting country is Spain. Mexico follows, then USA, Italy, Morocco, Greece, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica. For the United States market, watermelons primarily come from Mexico or Central American countries.

Is watermelon good for you? Nutritious?

Yes! Watermelons contain vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.

watermelon is alkaline. watermelon benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is watermelon alkaline or acidic?

Watermelon is alkaline when fresh.

What is the pH level of watermelon?

Watermelon has a 9.5 pH level when fresh, once digested. Most fresh fruit is alkaline food.

When we eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

watermelon is gluten free. watermelon benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is watermelon gluten free?

Yes, watermelon is gluten free. Watermelon does not contain gluten when fresh. Watermelon is a type of fruit, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

watermelon is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is watermelon a common food allergen?

No, watermelon is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to watermelon but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

watermelon is a high-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Is watermelon FODMAP friendly?

No. Watermelon is a high-FODMAP food so you should limit or eliminate it while on a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Foods

watermelon has a low water footprint. watermelon benefits include not requiring too much water.

water footprints of food and products

Do watermelons have a low water footprint?

Yes, it takes 235 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of watermelon / 28 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of watermelon.

But how much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

watermelon has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

watermelon is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

A 2018 Oxford University study is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet. They found ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

watermelon is vegan. watermelon benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is watermelon vegan?

Yes, watermelon is vegan. Watermelon is a fruit and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments. So much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Additionally, the meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

watermelon is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

In fact, known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Additionally, workers can experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks.

In fact, fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. Therefore, we can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade


Watermelon pros include:

Watermelon cons include:

This post was all about watermelon benefits and side effects.


Watermelon, raw – FoodData Central – USDA

Watermelon – SNAP-Ed Connection

Agricultural marketing resource center: watermelons

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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